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Two charged in Rushmore burglary

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WORTHINGTON -- Bail was set earlier this week at $2,500 each for two people allegedly involved in one or more burglaries Sept. 15 in Rushmore.

According to the criminal complaint, Khamsone Joe Soukhamthath, 21, and Tana Leann Kruger, 27, both of Worthington, are each charged with third-degree burglary and theft. Soukhamthath is also facing charges of property damage and trespass, while Kruger is charged with reckless driving and driving after revocation.

The complaint states authorities were dispatched to a burglary in progress Sept. 15 at a service station in Rushmore. The owner reported he arrived at the station and saw two men leave the building. One ran north and one got in a vehicle that drove away.

The owner followed the vehicle, keeping dispatch informed of his whereabouts until a deputy caught up and stopped the silver SUV.

The driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was identified as Kruger. A sum of money, which Kruger said was not hers, was found wedged next to the emergency brake lever.

She said she had received a call from her boyfriend, whom she only knew as "Lat," asking her to pick him up at the body shop. She said he told her that if he didn't show up by 11 p.m., to leave. She said she went to the body shop and waited 10 minutes, then Lat jumped in her SUV and "Chris" ran around the building. Kruger was placed under arrest.

She said Lat, later identified as Soukhamthath, told her where to drive, then instructed her to stop so he could talk to the person in the truck behind them. Then he ran away, she alleged. She said she has only known him for two months and doesn't know where he lives.

The deputies spoke with the owner, who said he first followed the man on foot, then saw the second person get in the SUV. He said he positioned his truck to block the parking lot entrance and the two vehicles collided. He followed the SUV as it left town and watched as it drove over curbs, across lawns and over the railroad tracks.

The owner said the SUV stopped at a stop sign and a man got out and ran away. He stated he did not lose sight of the SUV from the time it left his parking lot until the deputy stopped it.

Inside the station, deputies noticed shoe prints, open drawers and papers scattered around the office. They found a hammer and chisel lying on the floor of the building.

After being arrested, Kruger made a call from the jail to a cell phone, and the person who answered the call gave the phone to Soukhamthath. When he allegedly asked about the money, she told him "they" had taken it. She told Soukhamthath she had referred to him as "Lat" and that he should tell the police he doesn't go by that name.

The following morning, a deputy responded to a call of a burglary at the co-op in Rushmore. An employee said he had arrived and found a door kicked open and money missing. The deputy found footprints that matched the prints from the station burglary the evening before. He also found the office in disarray, with pry marks and hammer marks on the file cabinet.

In August, Soukhamthath was ticketed for shoplifting and driving after suspension. At the time, he stated he had driven his girlfriend's car to the store with Christopher Gasca, who had run away before the police arrived. In July, Worthington police officers had investigated a report of stolen lottery tickets being redeemed for cash at Hy-Vee by two males. The two males were tentatively identified as Gasca and Soukhamthath. One of the people involved at the time said she received the stolen tickets from Kruger.

Bail was set Monday, and Soukhamthath's request for a public defender was approved. Soukhamthath and Kruger each have a court appearance scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at Prairie Justice Center, Worthington.